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It Came from the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAG’s Collection

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Portrait of a Man

29 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. (74.3 x 48.9 cm)

Henry Benbridge
American (Philadelphia, PA, 1743 - 1812, Philadelphia, PA)

Previous attribution

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1966.24
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

This portrait was attributed to the German artist Johann Zoffany when it was acquired by Memorial Art Gallery in 1966. Prompted by MAG director Harris Prior, Smithsonian curator Robert Stewart investigated further and came to the conclusion that the American-born portraitist Henry Benbridge was the true artist. Shortly thereafter, this portrait was loaned to an exhibit of Benbridge’s work in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Stewart described it as “one of the nicest of what I call his ‘portraits in the small.’” The elongated forehead, proportionately small body, and decorative plant matter in the foreground are hallmarks of Benbridge’s style.

[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

Provenance
Mrs. E. R. Wood, Toronto, Canada; given to Lilian Campbell Wood; to her sister, Jean Campbell Cameron in 1958; to her daughter, Agnes Cameron Holt, Avon, NY in 1965; purchased by the Gallery in 1966

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It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013


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